Bitteschlappe | Excelsior Brewing Co.

16 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Excelsior Brewing Co.
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by morimech on 11-11-2012

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 68
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a better than its ratings brown ale that has a nice rich nutty flavor, is light enough but also really fully malt driven, and one of the not flavored beers i have had from these guys that is quite good. as red as it is brown, and very fluffy on the head, clearish, and lively. aroma of light cocoa, but not as much chocolate malt as i am used to in the style, and hints of hazelnut, almond, and soil. its not quite as dense in flavor as it is aromatically, and almost drinks light for what it is, crystal and caramelized malts, with some brown notes, cocoa powder and dr. pepper, which is odd but i think accurate to describe this one, slightly sweet in the center, but resolved full circle by the time its down. not rich really, but not watered down in feel either, its a real sessionable beer but with a certain satisfying quality i really care for. enough of everything, and simple in a good way. seems a little strange to be so light considering brown ale season and minnesota winters, but this is really working for me right now, nuttier and more english yeasty and flavorful there than most. tasty and well made beer, impressive for a to style brew from a relatively unknown...

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Photo of IPA1984
2.63/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

This is an OK beer coming from a person who is not a huge brown ale guy more of an IPA fan. Has a good body and color is nice. Can taste the caramel grain that is lasting with poss hint of wheat, and I live next to the brewery so I get to taste all of the beers often.

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Photo of Tone
3.66/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy, brown color. 1/5 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong sweet malt, caramel malt, and peanut butter. Fits the style of an English Brown Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong sweet malt, caramel malt, peanut butter, Euro yeast, hint of pale malt, slight hop, and a hint of wheat. Overall, weak appearance, simple aroma, good body, blend, and complexity. An odd beer, the Euro yeast and peanut butter are distinct, and the malt body is unusual.

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Photo of uchty
3.88/5  rDev +26%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What I like about this Brown Ale is the hops. They aren't overpowering, or dominant but they aren't covered up by the sweeter flavors. Definitely a Vienna Lager flavor there. The aftertaste is caramel and pasty on the tongue. The next taste breaks it apart from the hops. The next beer I want to drink after this a Pilsner. I'm a fan.

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Photo of AleMan66
2.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I poured this from a bottle into a clear teardrop glass. It pours a nice brown with a thin white head. It's on the bottom rung of brown ales that I've had. It's less malty than I like with some unidentifiable floors. Too bitter!

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.77/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 1 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

(Re-review 4/23/17, original score 2.43)

This beer pours a murky light brown color. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes quickly into nothing. This is a really unappetizing looking beer. The aroma has some light caramel notes, and nothing else. The taste is similar, but a little fuller. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied with adequate carbonation. Overall, this is a bland attempt at a brown ale. I will not drink this beer again.

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Photo of Evilyak
3.01/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

this one looks pretty good. nice color, nice presentation - overall, a good looking brown.

after that, it's really run of the mill. i don't follow the label in terms of toffee, caramel, and cocoa.

it does hide the abv well.

overall, just really doesn't bring anything new to the table. i'll drink the 6 and not think more or less of them.

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Photo of NickSMpls
2.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Deep amber with a nice head and light lacing. Notable carbonation in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Very light aroma and what is there is rather nondescript. Flavor has the roasted malts as advertised with a weak finish. Alltogether, there are many better brown ales ou there.

 281 characters

Photo of Lucular
1.82/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm a fan of brown ales in the fall so I was looking forward to this one (although I would've known better if I'd read the other reviews). Unfortunately, this was my first "Band-Aid" beer. The smell was definitely off and the infected taste was even worse. Couldn't finish the 12-oz bottle.

Update: I bumped the "Overall" up to 2.5 from 1.5. Excelsior was responded positively when I alerted them to the infection issue and even sent me a small care package (no beer though, unfortunately!).

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Photo of Dr_Leafy_Green
2.81/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

On tap from Excelsior tap room. Dark brown color with little head dissolving to a light lace. Nice aroma, malty and slightly nutty. Good toasted malt flavor, but a bit one dimensional. Slightly sweet with clean finish. Very lightly carbonated.

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Photo of Chaz
2.04/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a nice goblet this presents an excellent first impression: Two fingers of tightly knit, medium-tan (brownish) head which holds firm for a couple of minutes before dropping gradually and leaving behind a nice lacing as it does so.

Nose… infection? Tangy and lactic -- not in a good way. Malty-sweet. No hop presence.

Taste is as is the nose: Not good. Malt profile is perfectly-obscured by the off-flavors.

This sample bottle would be a "drain-pour" for me if I weren't so stubborn and need of a hair of the dog after a tough night at The Turf.

I will try it again on tap some day I am sure, but I would not make a trip to the brewery to sample any other offerings if this packaged example is emblematic of what the brewery is rushing to the market.

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Photo of Oakenshield53
3.5/5  rDev +13.6%

All right, well, the server winced at my pronunciation when I tried to order my first one (I think you can guess where I went with it), so I just went with "Yeah, uh, the draft Excelsior" for my second.

I had two, because it's good.

Strong announcement of coffee right off the bat, but balanced up top with a distinct tangy note for balance. Complex for a moment or two as the coffee, roasted flavors, a hint of chocolate and the slight tang round off, but it all meets up for a smooth and balanced finish.

I liked this - it won't displace others in my lineup, but a strong effort and worth a look.

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Photo of maximum12
1.66/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

After having a sampler of this at the Autumn Brew Review last fall & thinking "this is the best brown I've ever had!" I need to a bigger drink. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

Pour doesn't look quite right; beer is close to completely flat. Bubbles are only raised when I pour from a ladder into the glass. Dark brown in color. Aroma is nice & malty with a shot of hops that I recall from the sample.

Bitteschlappe is a beer gone worse than a Times Two video. The aroma vanishes into a hellish cycle of bitter sour; Infection Gone Wild. There's no hint of a brown in here & no reason to take more than two sips.

WTF? This beer was so good, so smooth, so original on tap, the bottle is foul & undrinkable. I'll certainly give Excelsior a shot again on tap, but I won't try any more bottles until I hear some good reports. Dumping.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.65/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

What's a Bitteschlappe? I went to on the internets and found that nine out of the first 10 links provided in a search related to this beer, and the tenth was in German. I had no time to search further, so I'll leave that quest for another time. The main thing we know for sure is that it is a brown ale from Excelsior Brewing, and here are my notes:

Excelsior Brewing Company Bitteschlappe Brown Ale, 6.5% ABV., 22 fluid ounces.

Is this my first Excelsior beer on here? I think so. Don't recall ever picking up one. If so, cheers to that, then!

Clear, caramel brown, slim, slightly tanned head.

Aroma: soft, nutty, creamy. Pleasant.

Taste: light bitter hop bite right off the bat, then malt takes command and all is smoothness. With a smack of sweetness, a lick of caramel, ending just this side of dry. Continues with sweetness in each continuing sip, that never quite quits, nor does it cloy.

I'm thinking this Excelsior Brewing Company is a bit boat obsessed. There appears to be one in their logo, the label illustration is a pier, and their motto seems to be "Choose Your Craft!" Underneath it we read this: "Bitteschlappe Brown Ale. A medium-bodied, smooth, dark ale. robustly malted with lots of Vienna malt, flavors of caramel, toffee, coco in the finish. this Munich inspired ale will slap you silly with malt flavor and aroma. You may call it what you will, but call on it you will. Brewed and bottled in Excelsior, Minnesota by Excelsior Brewing Company, LLC."

And I thought it was called Excelsior Brewing because they were members of the Merry Marvel Marching Society. Face front, true believers, as Stan Lee would say. Well, you can't win them all.

But you can't lose with this ale, though (how about that segue, huh?) …good beer and you can drink it! Excelsior!

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Photo of garymuchow
3.68/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Moto-i
Overall comes across very similar to Summit Winter Ale. Attractive browns and clear. This one was poured with a small head (more beer I suppose).
Nice malty aroma and pretty straight forward.
Spicy flavors along with the firm malt flavors. Not really big on nuttiness that I could catch.
Body was nice. Firm and drank with some fullness on the mouthfeel.
I'd think this would be a nice option for those seeking a somewhat spicy and fruity brown ale in any season.
BTW - terrible name. (please setback/defeat?) It seems it really could make it uncomfortable for female servers to have to say (at least that was my impression from my server-who seemed experienced-that she didn't want to say the name)- too close to having them say bitchslap.

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Photo of morimech
3.56/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The brewery describes this as a Munich Brown Ale. Since there is no Munich Dunkel Ale style here on BA, I entered it as an American Brown Ale. Not as dark as most brown ales as this one is bordering on amber and not brown. Minimal head forms. The beer is not flat but it does not look as good as it did on-tap at the brewery. The growler is only a day old to. Minimal lacing as well.

Interesting malt aroma. Smells German with the dunkel malt that is featured in so many German lagers. Hints of caramel and slightly nutty. A little earthy from the hops I suspect. There are enough esters to tell you this is an ale and not a lager.

Never had a German brown ale before but if they taste like this, I want to try more. Nice malty flavor that has just a hint of sweetness. Nice bready flavor with notes of caramel and nuts. A touch of fruity esters from the yeast. The hops are mild but add some earthiness.

The mouthfeel score is higher than what this example deserves but the day before at the brewery, it was carbonated correctly and felt good. Today from the growler, it is undercarbonated. The body feels deceptively light for an almost 7% beer.

Easy to drink which might be a problem with this ABV. It will get you messed up, bitch-slapped indeed. A sort of a unique beer that tastes like its German ambitions. Too bad the growler fill was poor.

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Bitteschlappe from Excelsior Brewing Co.
3.08 out of 5 based on 68 ratings.
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